1911: New York’s Buzzer, the Most Photographed Cat in America

The Hatching Cat

BuzzerGenthe1_HatchingCatGrumpy Cat and Keyboard Cat couldn’t have held a candle to Buzzer, the “Most Photographed Cat in America” from 1906 to about 1920. Here’s Buzzer in New York City in 1912.

Buzzer IV, whom I had with me for eighteen years, was a large, short-haired yellow cat — half Chinese, half Persian — looking more like a small tiger. He was very haughty, but never vicious, and he seldom condescended to make friends with strangers.” –Arnold Genthe, photographer, in As I Remember, 1936

Among the more than 1,000 images of Arnold Genthe’s photographs in the Library of Congress Collection’s digital library, 82 feature his beloved cat Buzzer (actually, he had four cats named Buzzer over the years). Although Buzzer occasionally appears alone in these portraits, he is usually accompanying women, and, in particular, well-known women of New York City’s stage and screen.


Born in Berlin, Prussia, in January 1869, Arnold Genthe was…

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